Bowery Farming and Unfold announced a partnership to create locally produced vegetables through new seed varieties.
Controlled environmental agriculture needs deep collaborations to unlock the potential value of the industry. The lack of broadly available industry expertise has caused many vertical farms to rely on suboptimal seeds, receiving a lower return on investment for their produce. Bowery’s team of agricultural scientists and engineers will partner with Unfold’s plant biology experts and leverage its digital tools, germplasm, and seeds to cultivate new plant varieties for its customers.
“The partnership will give us an even stronger foundation to address the biggest food challenges facing our world, from sustainability and food security to year-round access to nutritious produce,” said Henry Sztul, Chief Science Officer, Bowery. “With our R&D team working alongside Unfold, we will expand the wide variety of crops we can grow in Bowery’s indoor controlled environments, which will ultimately benefit the broader industry.”
The resulting plant varieties will increase Bowery’s produce output while lowering the production costs, making vegetables more accessible to everyone. Bowery has identified two new higher-yielding Romaine varieties available exclusively from Unfold that it aims to trial in early 2023.
Core to this collaboration is a joint priority around sustainability. Working alongside Unfold, vegetable varieties that require less time and energy to produce while maintaining the traits valued by consumers like crunch, color and taste are now possible.
“We don’t see ourselves as another seed provider. We strive to operate as a powerful complement to our partners’ R&D teams and provide deep collaborations that will result in quicker, more targeted innovation,” said John Purcell, CEO and President of Unfold. “We are still in the burgeoning stages of vertical farming, but I’m convinced that with industry partnerships like the one between Unfold and Bowery, we’ll improve the long-term success of the industry.”